The most important things I have learned during ONL course are related to me as a learner, working in groups, and studying online courses. Of course, many new aspects of openness have also emerged, such as the quite difficult concepts of digital visitors/residents, open education and blended learning. But as said, more has been related to me as a participant of online courses, and what aspects this brings. As quite an amateur in online learning, it was useful to participate at this stage, as most of the course seemed new and interesting. What I felt was most overwhelming was the feeling of not knowing what to do and what is expected. And after discussions with some participants of the previous iterations, I understood that this is part of the learning curve, or process. But I also found that this was kind of useful, as it allowed the group work to find its own course, without too much steering. This was reflected in the discussions, which were at least at first, all over the place, but was then narrowed down to a (usually) clear focus, identified by the group members.
An aspect that I felt was important and that I gained some insights of is the organisation of online courses, and what seems to work and what doesn’t. One key aspect is to have clear guidelines for tasks, and aims, as I feel online collaboration needs a clear focus. Otherwise, the task can get a bit tricky as online meetings are not that many, and the timeframe is limited. Another thing which I feel has been important is the use of different online/digital tools for both collaboration and reporting tasks. Even if there is no point in concentrating on which tools are the best right now, the use of different tools somehow creates a mind-set to use different tools and platforms in the future. This is surely something that I will use, and forward to students, when planning online courses in the future.
Being a member in the ONL course, and especially in my own PBL group, ONL 15 (which “some people say” was the best group) was a delight. It is always a bit of a leap into the unknown to collaborate with total strangers, but the experience was great, and discussions were very insightful, as well as relaxed, from the get go. And one should never underestimate the importance of networking and connecting with people, who know what will follow.
Overall the experience has been interesting, even if surgery and my public defence sort of came in the way…
Thank you ONL192, and especially PBL 15!